Housework Safety For Aging Adults
4 Safety Mistakes To Avoid While Cleaning Your Home
As we get older, accidents in the home pose a higher risk to fractures and other injuries. An experienced housecleaner shares some tips to help prevent sprains and falls while doing chores around your home.
Not Wearing Shoes Indoors
We all know of the germs that our shoes can carry indoors. This may lead to going barefoot around our own home. Instead, keep a clean pair of non slip sneakers available to wear indoors. This will help support your feet, ankles, and back. Invest in good quality shoes with comfortable insoles for best results. Not wearing shoes while you clean your shower or bathtub can lead to a slip or fall.
Anyone who has cleaned their own home knows it is hard on the body. As we age, we experience more muscle pain and aches, especially after a surgery or illness. When we get ready to work out at the gym we usually remember to start out with stretching and warming up. Do this before starting your chores. Stretch your arms, legs, back, and neck muscles. They will thank you later.
Using Chemicals Without Protection
Most cleaning products contain strong chemicals that can cause respiratory problems. Even the artificial fragrances found in most store bought cleaners, candles, and air fresheners can aggravate the lungs and sinuses.
Make sure to open windows and ventilate the areas you are working in. Gloves and face masks can easily be purchased at your local drug store or home improvement store. Some gentler natural cleaning alternatives are baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and plain dish soap. Use 2 drops of peppermint oil in your vacuum bag for a energizing scent, or run a fresh lemon into the garbage disposal to freshen the kitchen.
Beware of “green washing” while shopping for household products. Terms such as: natural, eco-friendly, green, and biodegradable, are oftentimes used loosely without any regulation at all. If you would like to find out how safe your cleaning and personal care products are, use a free database such as the Environmental Working Group www.ewg.org . EWG provides information on products safety as well as individual ingredients.
Climbing a ladder when home alone
If you do need to reach something high, or lift something heavy, don’t do it alone. Never climb onto chairs or counter tops. Wait until someone can be home to assist you and hold a ladder. Ask for help lifting heavy items or moving furniture and use furniture sliders to make the job easier. The home improvement stores carry extra long poles for dusting high fans, cobwebs, and for changing out light bulbs while standing on the ground level.